- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Rep. Adam Schiff said Tuesday that the Chinese business deal linked to President Trump’s properties was a violation of the emoluments clause.

“I certainly view this as a violation of the emoluments clause,” Mr. Schiff, California Democrat, said on CNN.

Mr. Trump tweeted on Sunday that he wanted federal officials to help get the Chinese phone company ZTE back into business after U.S. penalties threatened to shut the business down, according to The Hill. The Huffington Post reported that it was only 72 hours later that a Chinese company offered a $500 million loan to an Indonesia construction project associated with Mr. Trump’s company.

“I can’t imagine China going forward with this transaction, helping a Trump branded property in Indonesia to the tune of half a billion if the president continue the sanctions on ZTE. It’s just hard to imagine,” Mr. Schiff said. 

The emoluments cause, as written in the Constitution, bars members of government from receiving gifts, emoluments or offices from foreign countries without congressional approval.

But Mr. Schiff acknowledged there could be another reason that Mr. Trump is so eager to get on China’s good side.

“It also could be related to that fact that, having walked out of the Iran deal, the president needs a deal with North Korea more than Kim Jong-un and — desperate to get a deal with North Korea — he’s seeking to get a deal with China,” Mr. Schiff explained.

Mr. Trump plans on meeting with Mr. Kim in the coming weeks to discuss denuclearization and peace on the Korean peninsula.


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